Where Are They Now? The Leeds Rhinos team from Rob Burrow’s debut in 2001

Louis Chapman Coombe
Chev Walker, Rob Burrow and Danny Ward in 2001

Rob Burrow will forever be remembered as an icon of rugby league, and as Leeds Rhinos clash with Hull FC approaches, we’ve taken a look back at the team from his debut against the Airlie Birds in 2001.

The number 29 that day came off the bench to make his first senior appearance for the Rhinos, but nobody could predict the on-field magic he would produce for Leeds throughout his career.

Alongside the likes of Kevin Sinfield, Burrow was a core part of the Leeds ‘golden generation’, and became one of the most decorated players in rugby league history.

It’s been over 20 years now since Burrow first graced the pitch for the Rhinos, but what are the rest of the squad from that day doing now? Here is an in-depth look at the squad from that day and their lives post professional rugby league.

Brett Mullins

Brett Mullins Leeds Rhinos

Australian great Brett Mullins only played one season in Super League, joining Leeds Rhinos in 2001. During his time in Australia though, he won three NRL Premierships with Canberra and Sydney Roosters, as well as two State of Origins with New South Wales.

Following retirement, he co-owned a hotel and resides in Newcastle (Australia) with his family.

Mark Calderwood

Mark Calderwood Leeds Rhinos

Winger Mark Calderwood made his Leeds debut in 2001 and went onto have a solid career in Blue and Amber. He made 143 appearances in five years, and helped Leeds win a Grand Final and World Club Challenge.

His form also earned him an England call-up, and he helped them win the European Championship in 2004. He left the club in 2005 to join Wigan, and later had spells at Hull FC, Harlequins and Workington.

Following retirement, he moved into the amateur game with Farnley Falcons, and also played rugby union for West Leeds.

Andy Kirk

Andy Kirk Leeds Rhinos

Centre Andy Kirk made his Rhinos debut in 2001, however he quickly made the move to Salford in 2003. From there, he later had stints at Wakefield, Halifax and Widnes, before ending his career at Featherstone.

Since retiring, Kirk has set up a sports therapy clinic in Leeds, and also does public speaking in schools and youth groups on the dangers of pornography, following his own battle with porn addiction. He has also had a book published called ‘Scandalous Freedom’.

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Chev Walker

Chev Walker of Leeds Rhinos playing in 2001

Chev Walker made his Rhinos debut in 1999, and quickly became a mainstay in the team. He made 183 appearances for the club over seven years, and also helped them win a Grand Final and World Club Challenge.

He then moved to Hull KR in 2006, and later joined Bradford.

He is now part of the coaching staff at Leeds, and in 2022 was also training to be a butcher.

Francis Cummins

Chev Walker of Leeds Rhinos playing in 2001

Headingley hero Francis Cummins made 350 appearances in the Blue and Amber between 1993 and 2005 and helped his side win one Challenge Cup and one Grand Final.

He is also the youngest player to ever play in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley, as he was only 17 years old when he lifted the trophy in 1999.

Cummins moved into coaching after retirement, and he is now at Hull FC as Head of Emerging Talent.

Kevin Sinfield

Kevin Sinfield of Leeds Rhinos playing in 2001

Leeds icon Kevin Sinfield made his debut for the club in 1997, and quickly established himself as a key man in the Rhinos side. He made 521 appearances in his 18-year spell, and won seven Grand Finals, three League Leader’s Shields, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups.

He moved to rugby union in 2015, joining Yorkshire Carnegie, and is now part of Steve Borthwick’s coaching group at England. He also helped guide Leicester Tigers to the Premiership title as a coach.

Alongside Burrow, Sinfield has helped to raise over £20 million for MND charities and has also been awarded both an MBE and CBE.

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Karl Pratt

Karl Pratt of Leeds Rhinos playing in 2001

Versatile back Karl Pratt moved to Leeds from Featherstone in 1999 and spent four seasons at Headingley. He later moved to Bradford, where he won two Grand Finals, one World Club Challenge and one Challenge Cup.

He became Commercial Manager at Featherstone in 2018 and is still there now.

Darren Fleary

After stints at Dewsbury and Keighley, Darren Fleary joined Leeds in 1997 and quickly became a mainstay in the team. He made 127 appearances for the club, and also won a Challenge Cup. He later moved to Huddersfield, before ending his career at Leigh.

Fleary is now a Women’s Prison Officer.

Robbie Mears

Following a solid career down under, Robbie Mears joined Leeds for the 2001 season and made 24 appearances for the club. He swiftly returned to the NRL to join Wests Tigers in 2002, however he again returned to the UK to join Leigh in 2005, again joining up with Darren Fleary.

After retiring in 2005, Mears moved into coaching, and is in the Wests Tigers pathway as Head Coach of the Harold Matthews Cup side (NSW u17 Cup).

Danny Ward

Danny Ward of Leeds Rhinos playing in 2001

Prop Danny Ward made his Rhinos debut in 2001 and had a very solid career in Blue and Amber. He made 129 appearances for the club and helped them win one Grand Final and one World Club Challenge.

He later had stints at both Castleford Tigers and Hull KR before joining Harlequins RL.

Since retiring, Ward has become a coach, and has had stints at London Broncos, Rosslyn Park rugby union and Castleford Tigers, before joining Willie Peters staff at Hull KR.

Anthony Farrell

After emerging at Huddersfield and Sheffield, Anthony Farrell moved to Leeds in 1997 and went onto become a firm fan favourite. He made 142 appearances for the club before his departure in 2001, and also lifted the Challenge Cup in 1999.

Farrell moved to Widnes in 2002 and ended his career at Halifax.

Since retiring, he has become a prison officer.

Bradley Clyde

Bradley Clyde of Leeds Rhinos playing in 2001

Australian icon Bradley Clyde joined Leeds in 2001 after a glittering career in his native country. He made over 200 appearances in the NRL for Canberra and Canterbury and won three NRL Premierships. Clyde also won three State of Origin series for New South Wales.

During his one season in Super League, he made 15 appearances for Leeds.

Clyde is now a partner at Blenheim Partners, an International Executive Search and Board Advisory Firm. He was also inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame in 2008.

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Andy Hay

Andy Hay of Leeds Rhinos in 2001

Rounding off the starting 13 that day was Andy Hay. After stints at Castleford Tigers, where he won the Regal Trophy, and Sheffield, Hay joined Leeds in 1997. In his six year spell at Headingley, Hay made 161 appearances, and helped win the 1999 Challenge Cup.

He later left to join Widnes, before moving to Doncaster and ending his career back with Sheffield.

Since retiring, he moved to Germany to become performance director at Germany rugby league.


Rob Burrow

Rob Burrow of Leeds Rhinos in 2001

The Leeds legend made his debut in the 18-16 loss to Hull FC; however, he went onto have a glittering career with the Rhinos.

During his career, he won eight Super League Grand Finals, three League Leader’s Shields, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups, and also made 492 appearances for the club.

Since his diagnosis with MND in 2019, Burrow helped raise over £20 million for charity and was awarded both an MBE and CBE. He sadly passed away on the 2nd of June.

Marcus St Hilaire

Marcus St Hilaire of Leeds Rhinos in 2001

Marcus St Hilaire joined Leeds from Huddersfield in 1996 and became a consistent part of the team. He notched 110 appearances for the club in his six-year stint, and helped the club win the 1999 Challenge Cup.

The versatile back later enjoyed a second spell with the Giants, before moving to Bradford and Oldham.

He now works in the education sector as an Inclusion Support Officer.

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David Wrench

Back-rower David Wrench made his debut for Leeds in 1999, however he made his name at Wakefield Trinity. He made over 90 appearances during his time at Belle Vue, before ending his career in 2010 with Halifax.

Ewan Dowes

Dowes came through the ranks at the Rhinos and made his debut for the club in 2001. He later joined Hull FC in 2003 and went onto play 240 times in Black and White, before stints at Workington Town and Dewsbury.

Following retirement, Dowes is now a financial planner, and owns his own business.

Coach: Daryl Powell

The coach that gave Rob Burrow his debut was Daryl Powell. The former Rhinos player was head coach for two years at Leeds, and later joined Featherstone in 2009. He later joined Castleford Tigers in 2013, and guided the Fords to a League Leaders Shield, a Grand Final and a Challenge Cup final.

Powell later moved to Warrington, and is now the head coach at Wakefield Trinity, where he recently won the 1895 Cup.

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